EVC1000, which brought together 10 partners from across Europe and was coordinated by AVL List GmbH in Austria, was set up to focus on optimising EVs with this innovative in-wheel drivetrain layout. In particular, the project looked at brake and suspension control, together with in-wheel drivetrain, to achieve better vehicle dynamics. The objective was to develop new EV components that could deliver significant advantages in terms of energy efficiency – and thus vehicle range – and target other areas where user acceptance is an issue, such as vehicle stability. These solutions would then be showcased in pilot vehicles. The project began by creating a series of simulation models, to support design exploration and early validation of new components. These components were then designed and manufactured, including a dual inverter for more efficient control of several e-motors in parallel, as well as in-wheel motors for higher energy efficiency. “We also designed new chassis components, such as brake-by-wire systems and electro-hydraulic suspension with energy harvesting capabilities to provide a greater degree of freedom for advanced control strategies,” says Armengaud. “We also developed a highly efficient electro-hydraulic suspension system using X-by-Wire technology to enhance vehicle dynamics behaviour without compromising comfort.” These innovations will now be integrated into two vehicle demonstrators, to showcase the potential benefits of these solutions for different market segments. “Long-distance daily trips will allow us not only to assess energy efficiency, but also to consider how we can further enhance the customer experience,” adds Armengaud.
The project team has been successful in prototyping and evaluating a number of new components, some of which have since been patented. This will open the door to the eventual mass production of highly efficient EVs, and boost Europe’s competitiveness in this important field. As a contribution towards EV manufacturing and smarter, greener transport, EVC1000 has developed innovative components which are now on the path to industrialisation, and are expected to reach the market around 2024-2025. EVC1000 has further supported the creation of follow-up programmes including training and expert exchange, in order to create an innovation ecosystem to push cutting-edge EV technology in Europe.